Golfers tee off to tune up for championships
October 7, 2010
RAMSTEIN, Germany — Ramstein golfers sent a strong message to their competition heading into next week’s DODDS-Europe championships by taking top honors at Thursday’s Raider Shoot-Out at Ramstein’s Woodlawn Golf Course.
In the match featuring teams from Ramstein, Kaiserslautern, Wiesbaden, SHAPE, Baumholder and Bitburg, the Royals won the individual and team competitions for both girls and boys.
The main attraction was a showdown of the top two female finishers from last year’s European championships, defending champion Hollie Salvo from Wiesbaden and Ramstein’s Elizabeth Ward.
Ward, a senior, got off to a strong start, opening up an early four-point lead on junior Salvo and never looking back. She finished with 33 points, eight ahead of Salvo under a modified Stableford scoring system that awards one point for double-bogey, two for bogey, three for par, four for birdie and six for eagle or ace.
“I was very consistent and my ball striking was solid,” said Ward, who spent a lot of time in the offseason working on her short game.
Salvo was visibly frustrated throughout the match as she struggled to get her game in gear.
“I just wasn’t there this morning … when the driver doesn’t work, it’s hard to get everything else to work,” she said.
Salvo said the loss doesn’t distract her focus for next week’s championship in Wiesbaden. “It’s my course … I’m expecting to win,” she said.
On the boy’s side, Kaiserslautern junior Mackenzie Bradley and senior teammate Caleb Hayes entered the match as the top two DODDS-Europe scorers this season. But the Ramstein boys, led by senior Jordan Linder, took the top three spots, relegating Hayes and Bradley to fourth and fifth.
“This gives me momentum going into Europeans, I sank every 5-foot putt I had,” said Linder, whose birdie on the final hole gave him a 47.
James Cho finished second with a 45, followed by teammate Christian Gunia with 43.
Hayes, who posted a 42, said his focus wasn’t there. “I was more concerned with the people in my group than myself,” he said. “It cost me.”
Bradley, flustered coming off the front nine with a score of 19, finished with 41.
Ramstein coach Jeff Pellaton said it was his team’s best outing by far this year.
“We hope the trend continues … they’ve been capable of doing this for a long time,” Pellaton said of both the boys and girls squads.
In the boys team competition, Ramstein finished 20 points ahead of runner-up Kaiserslautern, which was followed by SHAPE, Wiesbaden and Baumholder. Ramstein easily won the girls competition, 51-25 over second-place Wiesbaden. Baumholder was third and Bitburg fourth.
The DODDS-Europe golf championships are Oct. 14-15 at Wiesbaden’s Rheinblick Golf Course.